1997 Volkswagen Golf K2 2.0 from North America
I will drive this car until it goes to heaven, and then I will probably rebuild it!
At 72000 miles the airbag light began flashing on and off periodically. It happens more often during the winter when the heat is on. It is also compounded when I take a rough road, so I'd imagine that it is a bad connection, hopefully in the warning light panel, and not in the airbag system itself. I have not taken it to the dealership because I have reliable sources that have explained that it is not a danger.
At 75k miles the upper rubber hose that connect to the PCV valve literally blew in half during an aggressive downshift.
Driver's seat, left bottom bolster detached and sank very early on in the car's life (maybe 10k miles?)
Fuba antenna deteriorated badly around the 30k mile mark. This is a common problem for rust belt drivers.
Exhaust rusted through just before the muffler at around 73k miles, but was easily replaced with an aftermarket (cat back) system for around $200.
I can do much of my own work on the car, so I have not had to take it in to the local dealer to have them fix it. I have worked for dealerships in the past and can confidently say that they are in the business to take advantage of folks who do not have mechanical knowledge, and take their money. Find a mechanic that you can trust who specializes in the car that you own, and use that person for any service not covered under warranty.
Several very minor rust bubbles have started to appear. I didn't notice them until a close inspection of the paint after washing. These are mostly at the bottom of the doors, and under the hatch release button. They are typical of a car of this age, and easily fixed.
Over all, this 2.0 K2 Golf has been an excellent car. The extras (moon roof, heated seats-mirrors-washer nozzles) have continued to work perfectly for 7 years and 75k+ miles.
Oil consumption is very low for a car at this point in it's life, and except for the very few problems mentioned above, it's been a great buy.
Being informed about checking fluids, brakes, and tire wear has saved me thousands of dollars with this, and every other VW that I've owned.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 12th March, 2004
The only things that I realized that I left out were the one replacement on the front brake pads at 43k miles. This cost me about $40, and work was easily done in my driveway. Upon last inspection I will need new front pads and rotors at 76k miles, and it will cost me about $120 to do the work myself.
25 or so oil changes have averaged about $6 per job for regular 10/30 oil and a filter.
Replaced the wiper blades three times so far as well.
$50 for a K&N air filter at first replacement. This is a lifetime filter that you can clean, so it's not only cost effective, but also much better than the paper filters.
New tires were needed at 50k miles. About $210 for all season Dunlop rubber.
About $700 in replacement parts (my labor) over a 7 year period.
You should not use K&N filter. It only filters out 97% of the dust particles versus 99% for paper filters.
Using K&N will result in faster engine wear.
I own a 97 Golf k2, 1.8l though, very good car, very easy fuel consumption, with 250k on it and still has the power it would have had from day 1.
As for K&N air filters, they are better than the average filters. As for 97% filter ratio as opposed to 99%, never heard of that before.